Shortly after Max Papis turned in a 15th-place effort Sunday at Watkins Glen while subbing for the injured Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted that the three-time Sprint Cup champion had been released from the hospital.
“#TonyStewart is out of the hospital & resting as comfortably as he can at home. Thx [thanks] for the thoughts & prayers,” said SHR’s tweet, which ended with the hashtag #SmokeWillRise.
But the question of when Stewart will be back in action after breaking two bones in his right leg in a Monday night sprint car crash in Iowa may not be answered for some time yet.
“Smoke,” who had been one of the two Wild Card holders for the Chase before his injury, has already undergone two operations to try and fix the damage. The next potential substitute driver for Stewart could be named by SHR as early as tomorrow.
As for Sunday, Papis overcame getting spun out by Greg Biffle in the middle stages of the race and also getting into the back of a slowing Marcos Ambrose in a crash that came just after a restart with six laps left.
“I felt that we were definitely inbound to have a Top 10 finish,” said Papis after the race. “Really glad that Greg Biffle came over and apologized. When he turned me around, he said it was totally his mistake. I think that really cost us a solid Top 10.
“Besides this, I drove the wheels off the car every lap. Super proud of keeping the seat of “Smoke” as warm as I could. I felt I did a pretty good job and I’m proud of myself.”